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Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of New York’s Department of Financial Services, gave details of his agency’s regulatory plan for Bitcoin transactions in the state. Speaking at the Future Tense conference in Washington, DC, Lawsky outlined the creation of a “BitLicense” for businesses using cryptocurrencies, making New York the first U.S. state to regulate the currency.

New York to regulate Bitcoin

New York is set to be the first state to issue clear regulations for virtual currencies. Image: Rick Bowmer/AP

“Our objective is to provide appropriate guard rails to protect consumers and root out money laundering—without stifling beneficial innovation,” Lawsky said.

Lawsky’s remarks follow two days of hearings on the regulation of virtual currency in New York, and his remarks indicate a growing perception in government circles that Bitcoin and related currencies are only going to become more of an economic force in coming years. Lawsky noted that the hearings, streamed live on his agency’s site, where being watched by nearly 15,000 people in 117 countries.

The timing of Lawsky’s plans coincided with yesterday’s revelation that the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada have been developing their own regulatory framework for Bitcoin.

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